pwa wrote:The thing that scares me and makes me slow down is not the thought of what will happen to my head (with or without a lid) but the prospect of experiencing that moment of terror as you fly though the air, and whatever level of pain follows. That is what causes me to slow down on fast descents.
To that extent, fear is useful.
I had a few moments to think about where to bail when I got a tankslapper coming down here some years ago https://email@example.com,-0.2529326,3a,75y,135.47h,72.27t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOO2WsXTe27rIaqInUQoF0A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
, it's not steep or even that long but I'd accelerated hard off the bend at the top so was already doing 40mph within a short distance of the road going downward when it happened. I was dong everything to control it, somehow I muscled it and scrubbed off enough speed to get things under control but was a few seconds of thinking this could really hurt and spotting somewhere on the verge edge to 'throw' myself into, as you can see there are some bushes. That did unnerve me for a while but it wasn't the fear of crashing or pain that slowed me down, it was that I'd just lost a bit of confidence in my ability and still not understanding the why.
I don't think about what ifs in the sense you describe, I go at a speed that I feel is right for the occasion, for me it's not about fear factor controlling things, it's really not something I consider, to me it's about riding within yourself, not with fear but with respect. How you ride and how fast can be different on any given day, be it weather, the bike you're riding or simply just how you feel on the day and what you want from the ride.
I still want to get a buzz but you can get that from almost any aspect of a ride, giving it the beans on the hybrid and hitting 37mph or so on the short slope just off the back of the estate into the next town to the supermarket can be exhilarating.
On the odd occasion I'll head onto the dual carriageway from Luton to Hitchin and you can hit 50mph without too much effort barring a headwind, in reality it's not much of a challenge as the road is wide, the surface is pretty decent and the bend at the bottom is very open.